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September 8, 2014

Are You Tougher than a 5th Grader?

Image: Flickr/Travis Swan

Image: Flickr/Travis Swan

“Parents learn a lot from their children about coping with life.” (Muriel Spark)

Recently, at a school-related event, a car alarm started sounding. While the owner of the car began furiously fumbling with his remote to fix the problem, the adults nearby furrowed their brows and shook their heads in dismay. The children, on the other hand, spontaneously turned the alarm into a group dance, crouching and jumping with each blare of the horn.

Kids instinctively know when to turn play into work and vice versa. They aren’t weighed down by the “shoulds” of this world because they face challenges with resiliency, confidence, and optimism. Maybe — just maybe — if we could relax, just a little, and let go of the need to always be teaching our children something, we might begin to see them in a different light. We might even begin to let them teach us a few things.

The next time you are around a group of children, think about this: kids don’t hold grudges; they see the good in people; they immerse themselves in things they enjoy. If we could be secure enough to admit that kids sometimes do life better than we do, we just might learn some things and enjoy ourselves a bit more along the way.

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